RD335 - Department of Housing and Community Development Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 Biennial Report on Virginia’s Planning District Commissions

Executive Summary:

Virginia has 21 planning district commissions (PDCs) – voluntary associations of local governments1 intended to foster intergovernmental cooperation by bringing together local elected and appointed officials and involved citizens to discuss common needs and determine solutions to regional issues.

The Virginia General Assembly created the statutory framework for the creation of the PDCs in 1968 through the passage of the Virginia Area Development Act. In 1995, the General Assembly modified the Area Development Act through the adoption of the Regional Cooperation Act (Chapter 42, Title 15.2, Code of Virginia). The Regional Cooperation Act articulates that PDCs were created to provide a forum for state and local government to address issues of a regional nature.

Another purpose of PDCs is to encourage and facilitate local government cooperation in addressing, on a regional basis, problems of greater than local significance. This mission is accomplished through a variety of means, including the development regional strategic plans with participation from local governing bodies, the business community, citizen organizations, and other interested parties.

Section 15.2-4215 of the Code of Virginia requires each PDC to submit an annual report to its member local governments and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on how the PDC has met the provisions of the Regional Cooperation Act. Further, Section 36-139.6 of the Code of Virginia provides that DHCD is to submit a biennial report to the Governor and General Assembly, as well as certain other state agencies, which includes findings as to compliance by the PDCs with the Regional Cooperation Act. Based on their 2017 and 2018 annual reports, Virginia’s planning district commissions are in compliance with the Regional Cooperation Act.